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Steve Lafleur

Senior Policy Analyst, Fraser Institute

Steve Lafleur is Senior Policy Analyst at the Fraser Institute. He holds an M.A. in Political Science from Wilfrid Laurier University and a B.A. from Laurentian University where he studied Political Science and Economics. He was previously a Senior Policy Analyst with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy in Winnipeg, and is a Contributing Editor to New Geography. His past work has focused primarily on housing, transportation, local government and inter-governmental fiscal relations. His current focus is on economic competitiveness of jurisdictions in the Prairie provinces.  His writing has appeared in every major national and regional Canadian newspaper and his work has been cited by many sources including the Partnership for a New American Economy and the Reason Foundation.

Recent Research by Steve Lafleur

— Jan 5, 2017
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The End of the Alberta Tax Advantage finds that corporate and personal income tax hikes in Alberta last year have wiped away the crucial tax advantage that helped fuel the province’s economic prosperity for years. Corporate tax rates are now lower in B.C., Ontario and Quebec, and Alberta’s top combined marginal personal income tax rate went from the lowest in North America to the 16th highest among all province and states.

— Nov 17, 2016
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One Energy Boom, Two Approaches: Fiscal Restraint Has Left Texas in Better Shape than Alberta

One Energy Boom, Two Approaches: Fiscal Restraint Has Left Texas in Better Shape than Alberta finds that Alberta’s deficits and mounting debt are largely the result of undisciplined spending and fiscal mismanagement, not just a drop in energy prices. By comparison, Texas controlled spending during the energy boom of 2004 to 2014, and, partly as a result, ran five straight surpluses between fiscal years 2009 and 2013. Alberta, which increased spending at a greater rate than Texas, ran four deficits during that same five-year period, and has continued to run deficits in the years since, with the exception of a small surplus in 2014/2015. Further, Alberta doesn’t expect to balance the budget again until at least 2024.

— Oct 20, 2016
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Counting Votes: Essays on Electoral Reform is a new book that finds first-past-the-post is the best electoral system to keep governments accountable, coalition governments (and spending) increase under Proportional Representation, and the Alternative Vote—also known as ranked ballots—would weaken the competitiveness of elections. It also highlights the constitutional requirement—given previous conventions—of a referendum to make any significant change to the way Canadians elect their governments.